Monday, October 11, 2010

A Word of Encouragement

Yesterday, I went out to take a walk with the boys in our double stroller. Along the way, Jeremy spotted a dog and said, "Puppy!". As we got closer, it was, indeed, a Jack Russell Terrier puppy. He was on a leash and was acting crazy and wired, as Jack Russells are prone to do.

"My son loves dogs," I told the puppy's owners, as we slowed to a stop for Jeremy to admire the pooch.

My son. My son! It rolled ever so naturally off my tongue, as if I'd been saying it for years!

"Don't let him get too close," the dog owners, said, "He's a crazy dog!"

"I understand. My father had several Jack Russells!"

"They never get better!", said one of the dog's owners.

"No! They're always crazy!", I yelled back to them, as we continued on our way.

"Thanks for saying that..." she replied, sounding somewhat disappointed.

I thought that was an odd final reply to an otherwise pleasant exchange, but as I continued walking on, I realized that she didn't actually say, "They never get better!" Instead, she must have asked me, "Do they ever get better?"

Whoops! She asked me if it ever gets better, and I told her "No!" Poor woman!

It reminded me of our first week or two home from Ethiopia, when we were more tired than we'd ever been, jet lagged, and still getting to know our children. It was a stage of life that I refer to as "the post-adoption haze". We were walking around like semi-zombies doing the best we could. When people would tell us that we looked like we were doing great, Brian would humorously reply, "We're just faking it!"

Occasionally, when someone would ask how we were doing, and our reply was "tired", their response would often be, "Well, get ready... It will be like that for the next 18 years!" Hearing that would make me want to throw up a little.

While I still don't feel as well-rested as I'd like to be, I feel much better than I did during that first jet lagged week or two, when we were muddling through "the haze".

I'm writing this for all of the adoptive families that are about to travel to Ethiopia to bring your children home (and also for my own encouragement, because we still have some really hard days): When you are home with your kids and you're tired and it's hard because you're in the haze of post-adoption and that stinkin' jet lag just won't stop, remember that you read on some blog that it does get easier!!!

And one day you won't be quite so tired, and you'll be on a walk of your own, or at the grocery store, or at church, and you'll say "my son" or "my daughter" in passing, and you'll be amazed at how naturally it rolled off your tongue, and just how far you've come.


J at said...

I can't relate to the adoption aspect of it all, but I have been through jet lag, and it kicked my butt. Also, just the hard parts of parenthood...

This part:
Occasionally, when someone would ask how we were doing, and our reply was "tired", their response would often be, "Well, get ready... It will be like that for the next 18 years!" Hearing that would make me want to throw up a little.

Yeah. I've been there, more recently than I would like to admit. Though very happily, currently things are a lot better than they were.

I'm glad to hear that the jet lag is worn off, and you are settling in...

Ana L. said...

I had people say the same things to me...I was told that after J was born I would never sleep again and rarely take a shower...I have news for you..Except for the first 3 months, I sleep well--every night! And I am happy to report that in 2+ years I have yet to miss a shower!! YAY!!

Anonymous said...

Tracy you encourage me everyday!! I do have a 5&6 year old and just got home 6 months ago with our now 1 year old.Some days it is tiring but the rewards are so great! I loved your line when Brian says "were faking it" LOL.... I totally get it...


Cherry said...

I think I'm still in the new parent haze. And tired... I'm so tired and I only have one! And soon I will be going back to work where they frown upon taking naps.

Funny how each phase we enter, friends always say it gets better. Friends are awesome like that huh?

Rebecca said...

I've loved every stage with Eli, but every day I think "Maybe this is my favorite stage!" It's always good and continues to get better. Even more fun when these sweet boys say "Hey Mom" and then proceed to tell a story. I never get tired of Eli calling me mom. A dream come true, really.

Mark and Heidi said...

So true, and it keeps getting easier, and easier. I think you also get used to never having that "weekend" to catch up on sleep. Hugs to you and your beautiful sons!

The Busters said...

So true!! A haze is the perfect way to describe those first few weeks at home. Don't you love looking back and seeing progress. It feels so good!!

Nick and Meredith said...

Thank u for saying that! I will remember what u have said!